Why Is Luke Still Sore?
Mark Hamill is still bothered by one scene in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. Which one? The one where he cuts the Wampa’s arm off. Hamill said on Twitter: “When filming scene I was assured my lightsaber swipe toward camera (creature not on set) would simply singe fur 2 scare him off-Horrified to later see amputation & unnecessary cruelty-Wampa was HUNGRY (not EVIL)-Luke would never do this!” It’s hard to argue with his logic, but Luke WAS fighting for his life at that point. And he wasn’t a Jedi yet. Maybe he panicked. Or maybe he only meant to singe the beast’s fur but his aim was a little off.
The Wampa scared me when I was a little kid. (I was seven, I think, when THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK came out in theaters.) It was like the real-life, grown-up version of the Bumble from RUDOPLH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER, which, if I’m honest, scared me a little too, a couple’a years prior. Considering the Wampa is basically an alien version of a Yeti and Chewbacca was based on eyewitness descriptions of Bigfoot, it’s safe to say George Lucas had a soft spot for cryptids. Not soft enough to NOT have Luke seriously wound one, though. (Bear in mind we never saw the Wampa expire. I bet it survived. And it’s not like Luke didn’t get a taste of his own medicine later in the movie, when he got his own arm, or at least his hand, chopped off.
I wonder if the Wampa ended up with a bionic arm to replace its lost limb?